As the leaves change color and the air turns crisp, Estes Park transforms into an autumn wonderland! There are many ways to enjoy the changing of the season with outdoor adventure, seasonal events, and cozy retreats. Let’s dive into why you should visit this enchanting area in the fall. Follow these tips to make the most of your getaway to Estes Park in fall.

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Why Visit Estes Park in Fall?

The fall foliage in Estes Park will take your breath away. The aspen trees turn a brilliant shade of gold, creating a striking contrast against the evergreen pines and the rugged Rockies. Take a scenic drive or walk the trails to get close to these shimmering gems.

Aspen leaves changed to gold in fall in Colorado.

Great Weather

Fall in Estes Park brings cooler temperatures, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities in Colorado. The days are pleasantly warm, perfect for hiking, biking, and exploring, while the evenings are cool enough to enjoy a cozy fire or a hot drink.

Fewer Crowds

While summer is peak tourist season in Estes Park, fall in Colorado offers a more peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. With fewer visitors, you can enjoy the attractions, trails, and restaurants without the long lines and crowded spaces. This makes it a perfect time for those seeking a more tranquil and intimate experience.

Wildlife Viewing

Fall in Colorado is an excellent time for wildlife viewing. Elk are very active during this season as it marks their rutting (mating) period. You can often hear their distinctive bugling calls and spot large herds in the meadows! Other wildlife, such as deer, moose, and various bird species, are also more visible.

Scenic Drives and Hikes

Exploring Estes Park in fall is an adventure that offers an array of scenic drives, hikes, and attractions that showcase the beauty of fall. One of the highlights of this area is Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous paved road in North America.

As you drive along this remarkable route, you ascend above the tree line and are treated to expansive views that are even more breathtaking when dotted with the brilliant fall colors. There are numerous pullout stops along the way where you can take photos, and fully soak in the majestic scenery of the Rocky Mountains in all their autumn glory.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Visit Rocky Mountain National Park for some amazing hikes. The Bear Lake Trail is a must-visit. This trail is relatively easy and accessible, making it perfect for hikers of all ages and fitness levels. The trail loops around Bear Lake, offering views of the water surrounded by golden aspen trees. Walk, breathe in the sweet mountain air, and enjoy peaceful moments by the lake. Notice how the fall foliage reflects beautifully on the calm water.

If you’re looking for a bit more adventure, the hike to Ouzel Falls offers a rewarding experience. This moderate hike takes you through lush forests and alongside cascading creeks, leading you to the beautiful Ouzel Falls. The trail is particularly stunning in the fall, with fall foliage lining the path, creating a colorful canopy above. The sight and sound of the falls, combined with the fall colors, create a magical setting that’s well worth the effort to get there.

Be sure to visit the Alpine Visitor Center for panoramic views and educational exhibits. Nearby Sprague Lake is perfect for an easy saunter around the lake. The lake’s mirror-like surface reflects the surrounding fall colors, creating a treat for your eyes.

The Rocky Mountain National Park sign.

Estes Park Aerial Tram

View the fall foliage from up above when you take a ride on the Estes Park Aerial Tramway. The tramway takes you to the summit of Prospect Mountain, where you can enjoy panoramic views of Estes Park and the surrounding mountains. The fall colors from this vantage point are truly spectacular, providing a bird’s-eye view of the golden aspens and evergreen forests below. It’s an unforgettable way to experience the beauty of autumn in the Rockies.

Lake Estes

Lake Estes is another great spot to enjoy the fall scenery. The lake offers a range of recreational Estes Park fall activities, including fishing, boating, and paddleboarding. In the fall, the lake is surrounded by colorful foliage, making it a perfect spot for a peaceful afternoon. Rent equipment from the Lake Estes Marina and spend a relaxing day on the water, taking it all in. Whether you’re fishing, paddling, or simply enjoying a picnic by the shore, Lake Estes provides a serene escape with a backdrop of vibrant autumn colors.

The Stanley Hotel

Visit the iconic Stanley Hotel which inspired Stephen King’s “The Shining!” Here you can learn more about the movie and take guided tours that delve into its rich history and the various creepy activities reported over the years. In the fall, the hotel’s grand architecture and surrounding landscapes create a spooky yet enchanting atmosphere.

Estes Park’s fall adventure doesn’t end there. The town and its surroundings are packed with other attractions and events that make the most of the season. Whether you’re hiking through the golden aspens, driving along scenic routes, or exploring historic sites, there’s always something to see and do during autumn in Estes Park.

The cooler temperatures and fewer crowds make it an ideal time to visit, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty and tranquil ambiance of this mountain paradise. Read on to learn about which events you should attend during fall in Estes Park!

Events in Estes Park

Exciting cultural and seasonal events take place during fall in Estes Park. Celebrate the season at a local event in September and October. These months are packed with festivals and Estes Park fall activities that showcase the community spirit and the beauty of the area.


Elk Fest

One of the most anticipated events in Estes Park is Elk Fest! The end of September celebrates the annual elk rutting season. This festival gives you the chance to learn about and observe these creatures in their natural habitat. Check out the educational exhibits that provide insights into elk behavior, take a guided elk viewing tour where you’ll go to prime observation spots. There’s also live entertainment that includes music, storytelling, and cultural performances. See who has the best bugle call at the bugle competition! The bugling calls of the elk echoing through the crisp fall air create an unforgettable backdrop to this event. It’s a fantastic way to experience the wildlife of the Rockies up close and personal.
An elk like those you can see during fall in Estes Park.

Autumn Gold Festival

As the name suggests, the Autumn Gold Festival is all about celebrating the golden hues of fall – as well as beers, brats and bands! This festival features live music from local bands, as you savor delicious food from different vendors, offering everything from bratwurst to classic festival foods. Enjoy the music with a cold refreshing beer in hand! This festival is an epic combination of good food, great music, and cool fall weather.


Pumpkins and Pilsners Festival

October in Estes Park kicks off with the Pumpkin Festival, a beloved event for families and children. The festival features pumpkin carving stations where kids can create their own jack-o’-lanterns, hayrides that offer scenic tours of the autumn landscape, and a variety of children’s activities such as face painting, games, crafts and bounce houses! The adults can enjoy the craft beers and live music while the kids have fun too! Spend a day you’re your family at the Pumpkins and Pilsners festival and embrace the spirit of the season.

Each of these events captures the essence of fall in Estes Park. Witness how natural beauty blends with local culture and community celebration. Whether you’re interested in wildlife, family activities, or simply enjoying the festive fall atmosphere, Estes Park’s events in September and October will help you have an autumn to remember.

Great Places to Eat in Estes Park

Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ & Brew

For a hearty and satisfying meal, head to Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ & Brew. This popular spot offers mouthwatering BBQ dishes, including ribs, pulled pork, and brisket, paired with a selection of local beers.

Bird & Jim

This contemporary American restaurant focuses on locally sourced ingredients and creative dishes. The menu features a variety of options, from bison burgers to fresh salads, all served in a cozy and rustic setting.

Twin Owls Steakhouse

Located in a charming log cabin, Twin Owls Steakhouse offers an elegant dining experience with a focus on prime steaks and fresh seafood. The warm ambiance and excellent service make it a perfect spot for a special night out.

The View Restaurant

The View Restaurant lives up to its name with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The menu features upscale American cuisine with a variety of dishes to suit all tastes.

Kind Coffee

Start your day with a cup of freshly brewed coffee from Kind Coffee. This local favorite offers a range of coffee drinks, teas, and pastries, perfect for a quick breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up to keep you going on all your autumn adventures.

The Taffy Shop

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to The Taffy Shop, a local institution known for its delicious homemade taffy.

Where to Stay

Your perfect fall accommodations can be found with Voyago. Voyago is proud to offer you an amazing selection of luxury cabin rentals in Estes Park.

Your luxury cabin in Estes Park features stunning interiors, floor-to-ceiling windows, modern mountain furnishings with rustic charms. As soon as you step inside, you’ll be captivated by the view of the aspen trees and fall foliage right outside your window.

Gather with loved ones in the spacious living room that features abundant seating, a flat-screen TV and gas fireplace. This is the perfect area for cozy moments together after a day exploring the best of Estes Park.

Interior of one of our lovely Estes Park fall rentals.

Prepare delicious meals from inside your very own Estes Park fall rental. Your rental comes with a full gourmet kitchen, with modern appliances, spacious countertops, and cookware. Stock up on local fruits and vegetables to create a memorable fall themed meal while on vacation. Serve everything up at your spacious dining table where everyone has a seat and a view. Discuss plans for your time in Estes Park while you enjoy a homemade meal.

When you need to catch up on some rest, your master bedroom awaits. A spacious king-or-queen sized bed awaits, with plush pillows and soft bedding. Drift slowly into dreams as the stars shine brightly. Get your day started in your master bathroom with walk-in shower, and soaker tub.

Amenities included in your Estes Park fall rental with Voyago include hot tubs, pools, game rooms and private outdoor spaces. Soak your cares away in a hot tub under the Estes Park sky. Go for a swim if the weather permits. Challenge friends and family to competitions in your private game room. And enjoy endless moments in the great outdoors without ever having to leave your vacation rental.

To avoid any last-minute hassles, make reservations for Estes Park fall vacation rental with Voyago well in advance. This ensures you’ll secure the best spots without any stress.

Tips to Consider During Your Visit to Estes Park

Since Estes Park is at a higher elevation, staying hydrated is important. The altitude can cause dehydration more quickly than at lower elevations, so make sure to drink plenty of water, especially if you’re engaging in outdoor Estes Park fall activities like hiking or biking.

Respecting wildlife is another critical aspect of your visit. Fall is an excellent time for wildlife viewing, but it’s vital to observe animals from a safe distance. Never approach or feed the wildlife, as this can be dangerous for both you and the animals.

Lastly, be sure to pack out all your trash, stay on designated trails to prevent erosion and habitat damage, and respect the natural environment by not disturbing plants or wildlife.

Choose Voyago for Your Estes Park Fall Vacation Rental!

Estes Park in the fall is a magical destination that you will remember forever. From the stunning fall foliage and diverse outdoor activities to the charming local events and delectable dining options, this mountain town provides the perfect backdrop for a memorable autumn getaway. Stay central to all the best fall activities in Colorado with a vacation rental provided by Voyago. Reach out today to reserve your stay and get ready for an amazing fall season in Estes Park.

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